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Loading Up

Spiritual Training Cycle: Presence (wk. 3/13)

In community fitness gyms like the one I belong to we have some unique language. We have short-hand ways to describe things we do. Terms like AMRAP and EMOM. But the most common one is WOD. WOD is short for workout of the day. WOD saves us a nice little four syllables. Before the start of every WOD there’s a small fervor in the gym, part excitement, part anxiety. Athletes are prepping themselves, applying tape, winding wrist wraps, and pulling on knee sleeves. They’re also prepping their workout area, finding the essential equipment needed for the WOD. I love to hear the sound of barbell plates as they get sheathed onto their temporary home of an athlete’s barbell. And then there’s the unmistakable noise of the collar locks sliding into place. I love the sounds of loading up.

Load is an essential component of fitness development. Load can come in various forms, including weight, reps, distance, time, and more. But load is not just what’s on the whiteboard for the day. It’s based on what you bring to the table. The load you’ll move is dependent on the strength you have. As you get stronger you can handle more load. This is the journey of physical fitness. So, in a way the load is loading you up with strength.

Strength is currency both in and out of the gym. I used to see posts on social media declaring strong to be the new skinny. Strength is nothing new in our society, but it excites me to see more people focus on the load they can move rather than the body type that’s moving it. Strength allows you to do all kinds of things such as recreational activities, pushing your kids in a swing or stroller, even controlling your big dog on a walk. As you are filled with new strength, you have capacity to do more in life.

As you are filled with new strength, you have capacity to do more in life.

In a similar way, the load of life presents an opportunity to fill us with spiritual strength. Not through our own power, but through the power of God. As we trust Him during the obstacles and challenges we face, He fills us with another kind of strength. He fills us with shalom. Shalom means wholeness, fullness, completeness, peace, prosperity, welfare, and tranquility. Shalom is not just the absence of conflict, but something better in its place. Shalom is God’s plan. Shalom is found in Jesus. And shalom is filling.

Shalom fills you with the spiritual strength to forgive. The spiritual strength to ask for help. The spiritual strength to see the good in other people. The spiritual strength to know that even in your most difficult moments God is still working in your life. He’s filling you with power. The power to realize you are more than just a conqueror, you are a new creation. Open yourself to the peace only God can provide and start loading up.

Questions for Reflection:

What does spiritual strength look like in your life?

How does the world benefit from your shalom?

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